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I'll Love Ya Forever, But...


You know, it was a marriage they said would never last.

Even I had my doubts. After all, I was a dancer—dancer, mind you, not a stripper--at the Pussy Cat A-Go-Go Club and he was this geeky post doc at his friend’s bachelor party. But I became a good professor’s wife. I hosted faculty teas and luncheons, kept the house spotless, made healthy meals, kept myself in shape and raised two beautiful boys—one now at MIT and the other at Cal Tech.

Still, it’s supposed to be until death do you part. Death: the parting of the ways. This whole eternity thing—I never agreed to it.

Faithful to a fault, that’s my Fred.

And he wasn’t buried three days when he showed up at the back door covered in dirt, and his feet, well, he had no shoes on, just socks. Wet, muddy, slimy socks! He should have told me, put it in his will or something, to bury him in shoes. I would have done it—I can be unconventional. He should have warned me, but he was always the typical absent-minded professor.

I was in such shock that I hadn’t the presence of mind to shut the door on him. So now he was on my freshly washed kitchen floor, with moldering leaves and what have you, and he grunts at me.

"Huh?" I said, equally speechless. I kept that floor clean enough to eat off of and now look what he’d done.

He grunted again. Prior to his demise my Fred was a well-spoken man, and he had this amazingly plummy voice for his lectures.

"Fred, honey, I don’t know what you’re saying." He opened his mouth a bit wider and a few white crawly things, slugs, maggots, I don’t know, fell out onto the floor. I shrieked and ran for the disinfectant and my cleaning gloves. While I was under the sink, trying to decide on straight ammonia or pine fresh, he shambled over. He was right there and tried to embrace me as I stood up with my supplies. Well, no way, I thought, though I was pinned to the sink. He smelled of soil and decaying things. Still I tried to stifle my revulsion. This after all was the father of my boys, so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Neither could I accept letting him get one inch closer. I put out both my hands, filled as they were with cleaning products.

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